Germany’s upper chamber has voted in favour of extending marriage to include homosexuals, and for the legalisation of ‘gay adoption’.
The motion, which does not create law but will place pressure on the German parliament’s lower chamber to follow suite and enact legislation, was inspired by the Irish referendum on gay marriage. Left-wing German politicians called the Irish vote an important milestone in the “cultural revolution”, and they want Germany to take part.
Presently homosexuals in Germany can enter into civil partnerships, but campaigners say this is not enough and ordinary marriage should be redefined to cover same-sex couples. TheLocal.de reports the comments of Axel Hochrein, spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany, who said:
“This is an unmistakeable signal to the federal government and the Bundestag [German parliament]. Discrimination against same-sex couples is incompatible with a democratic system.”
The two houses of the German parliament are at loggerheads over the issue – with the considerably more progressive upper chamber pressing for change. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the lower house, however, are not so keen.
Germany adopted civil unions between same sex couples in 2001, after a protracted discussion in which Conservatively minded MPs fought to prevent the redefinition of marriage away from its traditional meaning. While the mainland United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and others have redefined marriage in recent years Germany sits alongside Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and others who have split same sex unions off into a separate idea of a civil procedure.
Well behind with Europe’s progressive agenda are nations like Poland and the rump Ukraine, who do not recognise gay marriage at all.